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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 07:19PM

I had a big argument with my TBM friend.

I used to be TBM. I was very active in church. I went on a mission. I went to Ricks, BYU, and BYU Hawaii. I didn't like any of the church schools and ended up going to a state university. I have bad memories of my years as a Mormon, especially when I was living in Provo during my two month sentence in the MTC and later attending BYU. I did not enjoy anything about Provo and was so happy to see it in the rearview mirror as I headed home, never to return.

My TBM friend I've known since we were teenagers just moved to Provo. She calls me every day to report about Provo, BYU, etc. Her calls started triggering me because they reminded me of my two months of hell in the MTC and also how much I hated BYU and living in Provo. I really don't want to think about those days ever again.

I finally had to tell her to stop calling me because I just can't take it anymore.

I don't know how to approach the situation. She lives in Provo near BYU so obviously she can't talk about her life without mentioning Provo or BYU. I am triggered though with bad flash backs and can't stand hearing about it. I am ready to cut her out of my life till she moves to a new town. How can I deal with her phone calls without being triggered by past memories of my life in Provo?

She does a lot of things that irritate me so taking a long break from her would be very welcome.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 07:54PM

I've been diagnosed with PTSD from my experiences with mormonism as I do have triggers. I went to the temple to have pictures taken after my daughter's wedding in the temple. I did fine UNTIL my aunt decided to send me an e-mail giving me a play by play of the wedding that I missed. I am the only one who was "worthy" to attend my daughter's wedding as I raised her as a single mother and sacrificed a lot for her. I prepared myself for it, but my aunt had to decide to do that and it did trigger me BADLY.

Tell your friend. Tell her to look up PTSD or send her the religious trauma article. Luckily, my aunt seems to get it now. When she wanted to send me an e-mail from her daughter, who is serving as the wife of her husband, the mission president, she asked me if she could first. That way I was prepared. We never really know what will trigger us.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 08:45PM

Nothing I say will penetrate her skull. The last time she visited me she left a copy of a church talk behind for me to read. Then she sent me a book written by Gordon B. Hilnkley. I can't get through to her. Now she's in Provo where she can attend the temple twice a week and go to events at BYU. I'm happy for her but I just don't want to hear about it.

I told her in a text how I felt. She still didn't get it. She said there are no rules in friendship. I finally lost it and told her to "F" off. That got through to her. she hates swearing, especially the "F" word. She has stopped bothering me for a while, I hope.

I guess the secret to getting TBMs off your back is telling them to "F" off.

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Posted by: Done & Done ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 09:21PM

She's wrong about no rules in friendship.

Friendship Rule Number One is to be totally supportive---meaning be empathetic, listen, and "get each other," and have each other's backs. That is also lessons number 2 through 5. Rule 6 is to laugh a lot---like crazy.

Saying there are no rules is her way of controlling and running the friendship. (You can replace "running" with "ruining"
and it works as well.)

Since Mormons love the word "eternal," I would say that would be a good concept to apply to your break from her,perhaps.


P.S. I am extremely claustrophobic and I figured out what my triggers are. I avoid them or know they are coming and prepare mentally like what cl2 said. Makes a difference because handling them is all about feeling like you have some control.

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Posted by: MCR ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 10:08PM

"There are no rules in friendship."

Honestly, that is such a Mormony thing to say. Sounds pretty, but is just garbage when you think about it longer than 10 seconds. No rules in friendship? Goody! I"ll move into your living room, get drunk and throw up everyday, and if you try to throw me out, I'll just waggle my finger and say, "No rules..."

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Posted by: MCR ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 08:07PM

I live maybe 15 miles from Provo and BYU and I never have any occasion to mention either one to anybody. Who talks about their town to someone who doesn't live there? Like, who would care? Even less, the university in your town no one cares about. She's probably telling you about these things because she thinks hearing about them's for your own good, and that, eventually, you'll thank her for bringing you back to church with her talk about the Lord's University and town.

I'd tell her point-blank that you really don't want to hear about it every time she brings it up. If she can't talk to you about anything else, don't talk to her.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 08:16PM

had to bring the church into every e-mail she sent me. I finally pointed it out to her. She is much more careful about not talking about the church. But I do believe they do it hoping that we'll somehow see the light. My neighbors do it, too.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 09:56PM

> She does a lot of things
> that irritate me so
> taking a long break from
> her would be very welcome.


Not everyone has to learn how to be alone, to live alone, but some of us improve our lots in life when we do. Here is a famous 'dicho' from south of the border:

"Mas vale sola que mal acompaƱada."

The loose translation is "it is better to be alone than in bad company."

You should like yourself more than your 'friend', which dictates that if this were the case, you would dump her. If being alone means you're in better company, then it's a definite plus.

It's your call, just like it's your life. Don't be afraid of other people's judgment.

If you follow this advice, you owe me $5.

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Posted by: ookami ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 09:57PM

If your friend still doesn't get it and you say you want a break from her calls, I'd recommend blocking her number. A true friend would understand that you don't want to talk about Provo and respect that. A period of silence while you recover can help you.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 10:05PM

You don't have to keep being friends with someone you're incompatible with. You can just move on. It's ok. It's a normal part of life.

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Posted by: messygoop ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 10:34PM

Just an observation (and if I'm wrong, feel free to yell at me) about Provo. I think it's weird as a city because most of its amenities are well away from the interstate. You really have to drive into town to find them.

Also, why hasn't Provo developed its church sponsored airport for all of its MTC departures and BYU flights?

One last point. I became so depressed two days before getting dumped/abandoned by my family at the MTC that I was unable to leave the motel in Provo. That's how bad it was for me. I lost my appetite and felt quite ill. Instead of feeling that I was going on a climatic spiritual adventure, it was just the opposite. It felt like waiting for death; the end of the happy jovial person that I was.

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Posted by: cl2 ( )
Date: September 10, 2019 10:37PM

We all know we will never go back, but her methods are offensive. She can be a friend and hope that you will eventually come back, but to make you uncomfortable and make you feel like you are in the wrong because you don't believe like her is not being a friend. Like others have said, there are rules in friendship. There are always rules of some kind in life no matter what the situation is. A better way to try to bring someone back into their fold is to be a good friend. Period.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2019 10:39PM by cl2.

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Posted by: heartbroken ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 04:08AM

Thanks everyone for your great comments. They are very helpful.

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Posted by: Livinginbutout ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 01:40PM

Living in Utah and being out of the church can clearly trigger emotions in us that are not understood by people who continue to believe the narrative they were taught their entire lives regarding the church and it's truth claims. This can be especially triggering when one has life long family members and friends who judge, alienate, and feel entitled to venture into areas of our lives in which they have no business interjecting themselves into. Unfortunately they just can't seem to help themselves and feel entitle to do so. After all, they "know the truth" and believe that it's their right to try and bring you back to the fold. The thing I've found most helpful is to set clear boundaries with these individuals. Then you must politely and firmly enforce those boundaries. This can be easier said than done. It's easy to want to respond in kind with what our truth is and the things we have discovered. However, by setting and not allowing these individuals to cross those boundaries you've set, in most cases this can deescalate the triggers that we experience and which can easily turn into heated disagreements. Some will respect those boundaries and others won't. What you will find out is who your real friends. They are the people that really matter.

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Posted by: nolongerangry ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 03:59PM

Mormon women are mentally unstable and do not know when to stop. My sister is like this. Everything is Mormon and I am bad for not returning to the fold.

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Posted by: Devoted Exmo ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 04:32PM

That's quite a broad brush you're using. Not all mormon women are mentally unstable. Not all mormon men are.

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Posted by: Dorothynli ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 05:19PM

Any time I wonder if I should end a friendship--I should---have ended it a long time ago.

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Posted by: elderolddog ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 08:53PM

I find it impossible to disagree with your assessment. At least, not for free...

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Posted by: cludgie ( )
Date: September 11, 2019 06:20PM

Provo, and especially BYU, are huge triggers for me. I've told my wife that I will no longer even pull off the I-15 to enter Provo or Orem, except in cases of health or automotive emergencies, and that I also will sure as hell never set foot on BYU campus again. All of it triggers me. Even typing this is a trigger because of all the bad and lasting things that happened to me there. She got cross and asked me what about when one of our grandkids was graduating BYU--I'd have to go then, she insisted. I told her that I would have to cross that bridge when I came to it, but would likely just tell people that I can't come that day. BYU has such unhappy memories to me.

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Posted by: Brother Of Jerry ( )
Date: September 12, 2019 02:05AM

If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Your friend is constantly dangling BYU and Provo in front of you so you will see the light and return to the fold. She is bound and determined to save you.

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Posted by: exminion ( )
Date: September 12, 2019 05:31AM

I have PTSD, too, and Provo is a huge trigger. "Enduring to the end" to graduate from that joke of an institution was the biggest mistake I ever made, year after year, for four years!

I had another life in California, where I would return in the summers and at Christmas, and feel like a human being again. I could be myself, happy and free, as good as anyone else. Then I would go back to Provo, and it was like going back to jail.

It was a feeling--something oppressive and demoralizing--about Provo, that still exists today. It's hard to define, and interesting that others of you feel the same way. My children will not go there, for any reason, and they don't even have a history there. I have spared them the horror stories--mine, and other girls in the dorm, and what they sacrificed, and lost, to be imprisoned there, under subjugation to the Mormon cult.

Your friend is using Provo as an excuse to bring up Mormonism. I have ex-Mormon cousins who live in Provo, and other cousins who teach at BYU, and they hardly ever mention Provo or the cult. We are all considerate of each other, and respect our right to have our own views. I don't consider going to their homes the same as going on the BYU campus, which I avoid. I go straight to the destination, and look at the pretty mountains, and won't even stop for gas there.

Maybe your friend is worth the effort of you "filtering out" the Mormon stuff from her e-mails, and focusing only on the other parts--if there are any--that deal with her and her family and positive things in her life. Only respond to the good stuff. Every friend has their good and bad qualities, you know.

I also disagree with "There are no rules in friendship."

Are you close enough that you could tell her you get PTSD flashbacks, and ask her to please not mention the Mormons or their so-called universities?

Your friend might be innocent, also, who knows? Maybe she's obsessed with BYU and Provo, as so many of those inmates are. Sometimes, friendships just naturally die out, due to different interests. You don't need to be mean or dramatic--just ease your way out of the relationship, gradually, quietly.

You could put her off by talking about something that might trigger HER.

I had a friend who would call me every day to update me on every little thing her husband said and did. I didn't have a husband, and wanted to enjoy all the freedom and luxury of not having one of those to boss me around. Plus, both my marriages were disasters. Finally, I lost patience, and started bragging about my children, and that shut her up. We're still friends, at a distance. Her husband and son are violent and frightening, so I don't go there, but I do call once or twice a year and say, "Let's go to a movie!"

Without rules, there can be no friendship.

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